Visit my show at the PSCCU Credit Union, Vashon, Washington May, June 2024 

Sing the Song that Wants to Come Through You

LLast week, a friend thanked me profusely for a two-word expression I shared with her seven years ago: “both/and.” The words helped when, after her husband died, people asked, “How are you?” She didn’t have to choose between “I’m great” and “I’m feeling so sad.” She could be both.

“Both/and” is an approach to life.

On Tuesday, that expression helped me look for balance as I faced the bad news coming from the Supreme Court and Ukraine.

Fortunately, I happened to listen to a talk by the “Book Mama,” Linda Sivertsen, a woman who helps authors write book proposals. Writing/editing a proposal feels daunting, but after I listened to her, the task felt lighter. Her enthusiasm and LOVE of proposal writing buoyed me up and transformed my sluggy mood. She was on fire with possibilities; I felt energized by her delight.

Beyond the content she offered, what moved me was her tone. I heard a song in her speech that was melodic and infused with rich harmonies–the sound of a soul singing about what it loved.

She wasn’t just selling a very well-orchestrated package (which it was); she was sharing her special gift, her delight, the piece of life that she loves. No wonder energy flowed through her words.

Listening to her, I thought, “In these dark times, this is what we should each be doing–singing our song, the one that offers our unique gift, lights us up, and gives energy to those around us.”

The sound of the song singing through you

It’s the same kind of song I’ve heard streaming through Nicholas Wilton as he teaches his Creative Visionary (art) Program. Nick offers great tools, but what I think is more critical to his success is the magic he transmits as he shares his LOVE for what he is doing. We feel his passion for creating, playing, experimenting, making messes, and making art.

As Nick shares his song, it’s clear: this is the work he was meant to do.

I can’t help but smile when I listen to him. His song reaches the seed of a song in me that’s just waiting to come out and play. I don’t have to be like him; his song gives me the inspiration I can bring to my art, writing, and life.

We all have a song. It can be expressed in many ways: through words, deeds, a silent smile, paint, or an actual song. It holds the energy flowing through us when we think about what we love, love doing, feel inspired by, or want to give to others.

When we sing our song, our energy shifts, and we become alive, both to ourselves and to others.

How to recognize your song

  • Only you can sing it.
  • It helps define what you do in the world or pay attention to.
  • It gives you energy and passion for life.
  • Others feel it when they are around you.
  • It doesn’t matter whether others share or understand it.
  • It helps you to remember who you are.

Teaching what you love

As I thought about the great teachers I have known, in the classroom or life, I realized they all carried a song.

Dana Lynne Andersen transmits joy in her art classes. My voice teacher Peggy Norcross brought delight to voice lessons as she listened to her students say their endless AHHHHHs. Heather Williams has a song when she teaches drawing, Geri Peterson when she teaches watercolors, and Arne Zaslove when he teaches clowning. Each of their songs is unique to them.

Listening to them, I feel the rightness of what they are doing. Because their voices are so authentic, they resonate in me, tripping a voice in me that says.

“Come out and play and sing your song.”

Your song is more than enthusiasm

Some people appear to have been born enthusiastic as if they came out of the bottle bubbly and never lost their fizz. But that kind of expressive enthusiasm is not required and some of us express ourselves in quieter ways.

Our songs are different––uniquely ours. I work with an IT professional (read: computer guy) who loves trains. He delights me with his passion. He didn’t wait for “Bring-a-train-to-work-day” to set up a railroad around his office. Seeing small gauge tracks above his computers makes me smile. So him.

I have birder friends who go out at 7 am during the worst weather to count birds. Not my cup of hot-tea-indoors-in-the-morning thank you very much, but my friends are following their call. I imagine that the sounds of wintry birds feed their songs.

My husband entertains me endlessly with tales of Porsches from the 1960s, Chryslers from the 1930s, and good ole Dodge Darts. I was never a car gal. But now, I’m infected because his love for old cars is so authentically him.

Like a calling but simpler

In some ways, finding the song of your soul could be another way to talk about finding your calling, but I like the word song better.

It’s simpler.

You can hear the music within it.

You don’t have to link it to a career or making money.

When times are gloomy

During gloomy times, I dare you to sing your song even louder.

Being madly, truly, deeply in love with some aspect of your life and sharing that passion lights everyone up. We don’t have to share your love. We’ll feel your energy and let it spark ours.

Your joy will help us remember the both/and of life and bring light to dark days.

2 Responses

    1. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s been a while since I heard this song (although Cris came to Vashon a couple of years ago). Such a beautiful song!

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